There is a reason that Fred Thompson's recent California speech was a giant dud: He does not have anything to say that would elect him to the presidency.

The Republican candidates have a possibly insurmountable problem in 2008, which is that America desperately wants to put George W. Bush into the past, while the Republicans who want to succeed him must appeal to a right-wing base far out of touch with the nation.

The single most powerful political fact is the enormous and overwhelming repudiation by political independents of George Bush, his political agenda, and his style of polarizing and divisive politics.

Fred Thompson's problem is that his opening is on the right of the party, while the right of the party is what destroys Republican appeals to political independents.

Listen to Fred Thompson carefully, and on the military matters of such great concern to the nation, Thompson is neoconservative-lite in theatrical makeup.

Thompson keeps repeating his support for "regime change" in Iran.

Does Fred Thompson want to invade Iran?

How exactly does he plan on achieving regime change? Does he intend on doing even more grave damage to the American military with yet another reckless venture than George Bush, who has already done a generation of damage to our military? Or is his talk of regime change more neoconservative rhetoric that uses the language, substance and ideology that is exactly what most Americans now despise?

Listen to Fred Thompson on Iraq: He sounds like the ideal legatee of the George Bush policy. He talks of Iraq as war without end, praises the substance of the Bush policy, and promises to continue it ad infinitum.

With his regime change rhetoric about Iran, his Bush-like advocacy of endless war in Iraq, Fred Thompson offers the exact opposite of what the American people hunger for.

Meanwhile, he proudly suggests that Scooter LIbby did not commit a crime, proudly supports his defense and no doubt, if he hasn't yet, will proudly support a Scooter Libby pardon.

In isolation, Thompson's support for Libby is not a big deal. The problem is, his advocacy of the Dick Cheney-Scooter Libby line in the case, on top of his advocacy of Dick Cheney-style regime change threats regarding Iran, on top of his George Bush-type vows to continue the escalation in Iraq, are doomed to failure in presidential politics.

Thompson's problem is, his solicitation of the Republican right, and his articulation of the neoconservative policies using neoconservative rhetoric, make him alien to mainstream America and hostile to the overwhelming majority of political independents.

Americans hunger and thirst to put George W. Bush and everything about him in the past.

On the issues that matter the most, Fred Thompson has more baggage than a 30-car Amtrak train going in the wrong direction.

In the end Thompson may not run, and if he does, he will not win.